Nine Ideas for Journaling This Holiday Season
By Tara Pray
The holiday season has arrived. It is a time of the year that means different things to different people.
It is also the perfect time to either start keeping a journal, return to journal writing or to go deeper in your current journal writing practice.
So, whether the holidays are a time of joy and celebration or a time of stress and conflict or something in between; journal writing is a great way to manage it all.
Here are nine ideas for utilizing your journal during the holidays.
- Keep calm. This time of the year can be stressful for many people due to a myriad of holiday activities. Studies have shown that journaling can help reduce stress levels thereby decreasing its impact on your overall health. Grab a pen and paper and write about your stressors. Release the stress and do not to allow it to wreak havoc on your mind, body and spirit.
- Practice gratitude. The holidays can create a consumerism mentality making people feel pressured to spend a lot of money on gifts many times going in debt to do so. Journaling can remind you to focus and express gratitude for what you do have and not fret over the latest new gadget the commercials scream you must buy. Create a gratitude list highlighting the things, people and experiences that money cannot buy like a baby's smile, or the first snowfall of the season.
- Capture special moments. The holidays are often a time of celebration; an opportunity to create rare and special moments with friends and family. Write down those memories and include the feelings you were experiencing as those moments were happening. Your journal becomes a permanent record of the holiday memories you make.
- Stay connected to the reason for the season. It is very easy to forget why we celebrate the holidays due the heavy emphasis on spending money. For many, the holidays are a time for religious celebrations tied to specific customs and traditions. A journal helps you to remain mindful of why you celebrate and the importance of your faith during this holiday season. And if you don't participate in a religion, you can still use your journal to remain mindful of what this time of the year means to you.
- Be silent. In the middle of the hustle and bustle of the season, it is important to make sure you have time for yourself. Making journal writing a priority during the holidays is an act of self-care. Schedule daily 5-20 minutes of uninterrupted time to connect to your thoughts, to your feelings and to simply create a space for silence to exist.
- Develop a new year mindset. I know many people wait until the new year to begin identifying goals and intentions. But why wait? Use the last days of December to create your intentions and plans for the new year. Be descriptive and include what you want to do, have, experience and feel.
7. Practice forgiveness. Unresolved issues among family and friends keep many people apart during the holidays. Sometimes resolving these issues requires forgiveness. Journaling offers you the opportunity to work towards forgiveness, a process that takes time. Use your journal to work through the issues, your feelings about the person needing forgiveness and its role in your own healing.
- Gain clarity. This time of year, can come with some expectations placed on you by other people, well-meaning people. Maybe you do not want to go to the company Christmas party again this year. Or maybe you really are not ready to forgive your cousin but your aunt thinks you should. Or maybe you want to stay home and spend some time alone but your best friend can't understand why you would want to be by yourself. Use your journal to identify what you would like to do this holiday season and why. Try not to get caught up in the expectations of others. Take the steps to have the type of holiday that you really want.
- Prepare for troublesome relationships. Sometimes when we write things out in advance it helps us to better handle the people who we have conflict with. In your journal explore and release any negative thoughts and feelings before you encounter the person(s) at the holiday dinner table. Create some mantras in your journal that will help you during any tense moments that may arise.
Navigate this holiday season by allowing your journal to be a safe place for all your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Keep your journal with you and be prepared to put things down on paper because you never know when the need to write will arise.
If you want to learn how journaling can help you tackle life's challenges and stresses such as the holidays, please download the free eBook, The Journaling Guide to Manage The Stress and Strains of Life.
The holidays should be the happiest time of the year, but instead can often leave us feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and sad. Our 7 Days to Stress-Free Holidays self-paced journaling course can help you use journaling to take the holidays in stride and discover new ways to celebrate that are meaningful and stress-free for you.